BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The Coalition of Homeless Individuals is asking state lawmakers for more funding. A new survey by the coalition shows that state funding covers less than half of what it costs for these shelters to provide beds to the homeless.
“We’ve got about 100 to 150 not even having a bed – sleeping on the floor, so this has become about life and death. We need some help right now,” said John Yazwinski of Father Bill’s and MassSpring.
Emergency homeless shelters across Massachusetts are asking state lawmakers for $50 million dollars in fiscal 2017. That’s about $7 million dollars more than what the Governor suggested.
Friends of the Homeless Executive Director Bill Miller told 22News that each shelter bed costs $42 dollars per night, but the state only reimburses $27 dollars. It makes it difficult for them to help the growing homeless population in Springfield.
“There’s a high poverty rate, so there’s always going to be a large number of people falling into homelessness at any given year,” said Miller.
Many of these facilities provide shelter both day and night. They’re also involved in helping people find employment and permanent housing.
The Friends of the Homeless shelter in Springfield said they’re serving an increasing number of people under the age of 24.